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Firing on all cylinders

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Firing on all cylinders
When driving through Africa on our WhyAfrica Road Trips, we’ve often come across exceptionally “dirty” fuel, especially in remote areas, which is not ideal for the working parts of any vehicle, even if it is a Toyota. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Firing on all cylinders

Operating in remote Africa means relying on good equipment that performs optimally for extended periods of time.  

By Leon Louw owner of WhyAfrica and editor of the WhyAfrica magazine

Whether you operate in the mining, agriculture, infrastructure or energy sectors, your fleet of equipment needs to fire on all cylinders, so to speak. For that you need high-quality, uncontaminated fuel.

When driving through Africa on our WhyAfrica Road Trips, we’ve often come across exceptionally “dirty” fuel, especially in remote areas, which is not ideal for the working parts of any vehicle, even if it is a Toyota.

I spoke to Nick Gouws, Managing Director of fuel specialists Siyathembana, one of WhyAfrica’s bronze sponsors for the 2024 road trip through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania. Nick knows all there is to know about fuel, and more.

“Contaminated fuel is like an enemy within your engine. Water, dust, and sulphur – common culprits in dirty diesel – can wreak havoc.

“These contaminants act like sandpaper, accelerating wear and tear. Reduced engine life, frequent repairs, and even complete breakdowns become costly realities. Dirty fuel clogs injectors, leading to poor fuel atomisation and incomplete combustion. This translates to decreased power output and wasted fuel. In severe cases, injector failure requires expensive replacements.

“Water contamination is a recipe for disaster. It causes corrosion in fuel lines and pumps, leading to leaks and potential breakdowns, further disrupting your operations. Adequate fuel filtration is a wise investment, protecting your equipment and ensuring optimal performance. Clean diesel fuel offers numerous benefits.

“By preventing engine damage and malfunctions, clean fuel keeps your equipment running smoothly, minimising downtime and maximising productivity. Cleaner fuel burns more efficiently, leading to better fuel economy and lower operating costs. Every drop counts especially in Africa’s diverse economic landscape.

“Clean diesel burns cleaner, reducing harmful emissions and contributing to a healthier environment for everyone. Investing in clean fuel isn’t just about protecting your equipment, it’s about safeguarding your business’s success in Africa. By minimising downtime and maximising efficiency, you empower your operations to reach their full potential,” says Gouws.

Firing on all cylinders
Siyathembana is a bronze sponsor of the 2024 WhyAfrica Road Trip

Firing on all cylinders

Nick had some advice for us a few weeks before we depart on our 45-day overland trip from Johannesburg in South Africa to Moshi in Tanzania.

“To combat the dangers of dirty fuel, you guys (and all operators) must prioritise optimal filtration practices.

“For example, do regular inspections and maintain filter elements or bags. This includes timely replacement following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Proactive maintenance prevents contaminants from bypassing the filter and damaging your engine.

“Maintain a well-sealed and reticulated fuel system. This prevents water from entering the tank and settling at the bottom, potentially breeding harmful algae. Water contamination can be a significant issue in Africa, so vigilance is crucial.

“Ensure your filtration system is properly sized and functioning at its best. Regularly consult with a fuel management specialist to confirm your filtration system is adequate for the specific environment and fuel quality you encounter.”

Nick assured us that by implementing these practices, operators will significantly reduce the risk of engine damage, breakdowns, and costly repairs.

“Remember, clean fuel is an investment in your equipment’s longevity, operational efficiency, and ultimately, your business success in Africa.”

Siyathembana’s self-bunded tanks  

Siyathembana was established in 2010 and introduced the first self-bunded tanks to South Africa. This innovation addressed the growing need for secure and reliable fuel storage solutions across industries like mining, transportation, and agriculture.

Siyathembana didn’t stop at the tank itself. Recognising diverse customer requirements, we developed complementary pump packages and configurable tank systems. This expertise naturally led us to fuel farm installations which have become a core aspect of our business.

Siyathembana has cultivated a strong reputation in the mining, construction, and power generation industries.

Siyathembana is a bronze sponsor of the 2024 WhyAfrica Road Trip through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania.

During our 2024 WhyAfrica Road Trip we will visit more than 30 project sites and interview a range of stakeholders in a number of economic sectors in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania.

Firing on all cylinders

Firing on all cylinders
To be part of the 2024 WhyAfrica Road Trip story send me an e-mail on leon@whyafrica.co.za

 

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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management